tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 19, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EST
much bigger and we don't want to take the wrong action. we want to ask for the science, create preventive measures and look at the greatest source of risk but not create perhaps impediments for some of those most interesting areas where there is innovation, entrepreneurship and renewal going on in urban areas. so thank you very much. >> thank you, paul now it's your turn. i want to thank c-span on behalf of the foundation for covering this this morning. the purpose of the floor in the foundation is to bring education to the 300 million americans that enjoy the food that is produced in the united states so we thank c-span for making this coverage and the panelists for sharing their views. now it's your turn. to those on the audio cast, please send us your questions.
to those in the room, please come to the microphone and state your name and organization. i am charlie stenholm former member of congress now with the law. i'm a member of the house and do not dissipate in filibusters. i will recognize you as soon as someone gets a question. [laughter] and announce your name come who you're with and state your question. >> thank you for the presentations. i name is well fischer with the institute of technologists into the food global traceability center. i have a two-part question and richard, this might start with you. how well has this new law -- i will try that again. how has this new law been accepted and understood by countries outside of the u.s.? and the second part of that is what are the educational outreach efforts and how are they going?
>> well, i will base my answer on the question mainly on our experience in china, which of course is a huge market for u.s. consumers. the fda has located a number of offices in china. they have the level of collaboration between the fda, usda and counterpart organizations in china, the ministry of health, ministry of agriculture, has a frequency in the training courses, the conferral systems has improved greatly, and that's hosted to a
large extent by the drafting of the food safety law as it was last amended in 2012 in china. so the architecture i would argue for that collaboration is now better than it ever was. as far as probably implicit in your question is how deep does it go in terms of the education and what are some of the flashpoint. the biggest flashpoint from the perspective and there are counterpart agencies in china to our knowledge is the third-party certified auditor system. it still hasn't been resolved.
as to the status of that organization namely the independent certifier and above regulatory body responsible for the trade in china wants to be responsible for those auditors and for the certification and training of those auditors. the argument is mainly a question of how trustworthy is a third-party independent particularly in the china context. there've been lots of articles i'm sure many of you have read about the risk that might be incurred if there is training in the third-party certified auditor in china and that party
sets up its own certification organization and it sends out auditors, certified auditors who are not indeed certified, but nonetheless, the original owner is certified that dilutes the effectiveness of the program. that is the argument it presents for its position to be the sole party responsible for auditors in china. there are cultural questions as to the level of intrusiveness that compliance might require with respect to fisma there is a little different approach.
nonetheless, there is certainly acceptance and a recognition of its importance commercially and its contribution to the health example for china itself the new food and drug administration is styled in my opinion after the fda, so this is really catalytic in its broad reach in terms of trying to service its domestic and foreign markets. >> if i could add to that, once the rule is finalized, they will have a big job in trying to communicate with the final rule to all the different countries that import to us and
communicate the different entities and doing a lot of training in that regard into the technical assistance. there also has to be a lot of training in their own staff comes about when the inspectors are going to the food plants were going overseas, they are inspecting to the new model as opposed to the old model they were going in and doing the top to bottom inspections. the whole inspection has to beat me trained so that they are giving fisma inspections in looking at it in that context as opposed to their old one. >> i am the director of the equitable food initiative which is according to the compliance for the food safety labor and pest management. i'm curious about the role of the farm labor in this discussion. dennis mentioned that the produce full of talked about training and so forth that we would see the farm workers not only as a potential risk factor in terms of the pathogens but also as a part of the solution and i'm curious to hear your
thoughts about the role of the leader in fisma. >> i can answer that. our workers are all given food safety training for the design of the farm is that we tried a five-year deployment for the workers and that makes them invested in the success of the farm and full-time observers and all across. they have the food safety training and there are talked about the cleanliness and hygiene. one of the things that is left out, there's a larger chain of relationships we have an essential valley of california one of the greatest fruit, nuts and touchable producers in the world and the poverty that is far greater than any other part of the country and it is linked to people who are a part of the farm working through the system working the fields. this is poverty i think there are a lot of people that are working that are undocumented.
i wish that you would include and folding to the discussion something broader in king about immigration. how are these people's lives when they are home? if they are living an unhealthy conditions because they are not paid fairly or they are living lives where they can actually be healthy or they are not given the tools to be healthy we are expecting them to com come out o the fields and wash their hands and i think we have a much bigger issue. most every farm is talking to their farm workers about how to do personal hygiene, how they take care of the requirements for bathrooms and sanitation of those things are in place. but in fact the bigger question of who is picking our food and how are they living in a much larger context i think is left out entirely. >> i entirely agree tha that farmworkers are a critical element of any food safety
system. what i talked about in my presentation, animal intrusion in the fields, the old paradigm was much like what paul was talking about the sort of sterilization field and build fences and keep everything out, the new paradigm certainly in the marketing agreement and subsequent agreements and other crops is more nuanced, and you have to identify risk and to identify and intrusion, and you corner off an area tha that maye had an intrusion and that portion of the field, rather than the whole field, is what you would prevent from being harvested. it's obvious that the individuals who were doing the identification, the individuals identifieidentifying the intrusd individuals are going to be farm labor and farm workers and those workers have to be trained
adequately. so clearly there is a critical element to implementing the food safety rules and having a formulary part of it. >> we see a huge role for the farmworkers and as an element they are the eyes and ears in the field. they know what's going on and they can provide that sort of first alert went to be able to identify problems when they exist you have to create a sort of culture on the farm to bring those problems up. so i'll call the farmworkers too be able to raise those issues that they are sort of a key element. if you look at the processing plant all of the workers are trained into safety and understand it's a critical component of the jobs and bringing that into the farmworkers to i think through the education and training is only going to enhance the efforts.
>> i am with the progressive farmer and i have a question for paul. you express concern generally with the direction the fda would go and i gather that is not likely could you point out one change that could be made in one rule under the proposed rules that would relieve a significant part that you are feeling about this? there are ways that the group gets together. we as a small farms and many other farms are focused on the market direct, marketing
directly to the end-user. it's the only way you can survive in a very competitive and efficient produce industry. one they need to take a good look at is the definition of the facility if we are a farm that is growing our own product and cleaning it, putting it in a box and giving it to consumers, we are a farm, not a facility. we have information on how to keep all of the processes healthier. i think i would ask the fda to step up a bit and offer guidelines, but what is happening is i think the insurance industry tells the supermarket they need to have the information there's a chain of relationship and in one way it works really well and in another way it walks up the small farmers from entering those markets. so i would ask them generally to
step back and look at the low risk activities that are perhaps more focus on the test side of this and not the same basket as one facility. >> i am vice president of international relations for the international food information council and foundation. i would like to ask a question initially to eric but would welcome comments from the rest of the panel, too on behalf of our organization, and the international networks that we helped to facilitate an alliance to be the future, educational outreach program, and an international center of excellence in the food risk communication. this builds on another question about education, and i know the panel has elaborated the focus on communication to protect food
against contamination and that is the ultimate goal. as highlighted the major potential for international misunderstandings and we don't need to think too far many issues where different countries around the world see the same set of scientific facts in a totally different light. he also highlighted a significant importance of consumer health and consumer confidence. this raises the question of public outreach and education and a stakeholder outreach and education so i would like to ask the panel if they could elaborate on any initiatives they have or are aware of that moving to the area of public education so that consumers understand what's safe and what isn't and these good measures are being put in place. and i would also like to ask them to take it a little bit further and ask them if they see
locally, regionally and internationally opportunities for coordination and public-private partnerships, which i think may be a very important element in making this whole thing extremely successf successful. >> thank you, randy. good to see you. i consider that a very friendly question. because in the mission that we are trying to correct our attention to in the global food safety form, we do kind of conventional modalities that are quite standard and with different levels of conferral but the new and the most exciting initiative that we
think is to offer these courses which we are now in the process of designing and targeting chinese corporate managers, the technicians for operating systems as food safety regulators we are meeting with the regulatory counterparts in china to get their support to bring this on our endeavor as well as those others to collaborate with other organizations. to get as diffuse as possible into china. i think it's important also to realize that in china the system
in the food safety regulation which had to be done in a very accelerated rate because of the abuses was and has been a top-down approach directed from the central government, and what as a westerner was brought home to me was that that's best only half the story, and i think that's kind of part of the section that's in your question and an answer to your question because reaching the level of popularizing food safety and raising the consciousness has to be the introduction of novel my
the regulatory piece, but the educational piece at the provincial level. and i've often said also that with respect to fraud, the system isn't in china going to change until the costs of fraud are recognized as greater than the benefits and there is a long way to go as far as that is concerned. but we are trying to do our little effort and try to leverage that as best as we can through these new electronic means it through the broadening of our network to raise the consciousness, which is absolutely essential you are quite right.
it's in the domestic model in the case of china. thank you for that question. >> it is going to be relying on a lot of public-private partnerships to get education out the stakeholders so they have the safety alliance working on the training programs and also one getting information out about fisma they have a preventative control alliance that works at the industry to give guidance, documents and those sort of things out to get information to the members, consumer groups and public i think they are going to be relying on those different elements that are out there to sort of spread the word once they have the final rules everybody knows here's the new law of the land. >> you raise a question about the opportunity to create public and private partnerships. not only is it an opportunity, it is already occurring. at least here domestically. i mentioned the marketing agreement. that was an attempt to near zero
where you have industry groups working collaboratively with the states authorities, federal authorities is a variety of other efforts in california and there is a wonderful effort in florida for the tomato industry in florida has worked collaboratively with the states to create food safety regime's. part of that regime structure is not only to help create the standards, but also to help enforce the standards and then also to help educate members on what that standard is. so i think there is a half dozen or so examples already in place of the public-private partnership. i should note from our perspective those existing public-private partnerships, those existing standards are somehow incorporated into these rules. there is specific industry guidance for tomatoes in florida
the leafy greens in california, cantaloupe, etc.. in some ways that will be location specific and it is more comprehensive than anything that the fda could create a sort of macro level. so we do hope at some point they will begin incorporating those systems partnerships concretely into the framework that they already have. >> at one piece to that. we talked to consumers all the time and they have no idea what the reality of agriculture is and what goes on in the farm and how food is actually produced. and in fact, the guidelines are seeing visitors to the farm is potential biohazard. the whole system needs to be more transparent and open and we need to be able to bring people to the farm so they understand the processes are.
but it's catching on. people are talking about local food because they have a relationship that is a fundamental relationship in the place anface and it is becomingt of the dialogue. it is a place to demystify the food production and begin to change the relationships that are healthy, not top down and are bottom-up and they are based on a direct relationship. we have to grow. two worlds. somehow those have to inform each other how we create a healthy outcome. >> i would like to make an observation at this point. this is a law that was created by congress. very few created by congress are perfect and therefore they aren't obligated to the regulatory body to implement to that which congress in its
wisdom decided needs to be done. to those that may have gotten your a little bit to invite to participate but that is what they should have done. but i can guarantee you that a bunch of them are listening into this discussion because it is this discussion at which they are now having to do which i would guesstimate very few ever have a clue what goes on on the farm. that was not of their predominant reason of being. and now they have been told by the congress to begin regulating in the areas in which they have an educational curve to bring themselves up to also, and they are going to try to do that. but it's a complicated procedure that we are going through. and this morning i think hopefully will be an additional educational efforts answer many of the questions that have already been posed. >> i have a question about the
import and environmental also touches on the u.s. consumers as well and i think we have a sort of chicken and egg problem. i know that the usda that -- [laughter] the linchpin seems to be as far as the imports are concerned. but in order to get confidence and this is where the consumers link in to have the confidence you need to have systems in place that will allow the importers to verify the safety of the food. how do you do that short of having these equipment unseen mutual recognition regime's in place which take a long time to establish and are not based on adopting u.s. rules but sort of rather a mixture as i said in recognition and so forth? it seems to me that there's
going to have to be an intermediate step of recognizing and accrediting if not auditing bodies and testing companies in order to do some of that work partly because of the confidence of how do i know that companies -- backcountry has the right to food safety mechanisms and standards in place? i have more confidence that this international testing company is going to be able to go to a facility and make sure the control points are in place etc.. i would be interested to hear from what can be done to establish the fsvp and from the consumer perspective, u.s. perspective, what is going to provide the confidence that india there are equivalent levels of safety in the foreign market.
>> of the important thing is very complicated you point out, and the fda has never done a lot in that space. they have inspectors at the board and wait to come in and expecandexpectedandexpected they are not really catching. they are all interlocking so they almost have to work together in the third-party certification program has to sit with the verification program as well on the comparability side. all of that has to kind of work together and it's a little unclear how they are going to start falling into place. that i think that the intent is to push a lot of th it out of ty requirements back into the foreign country city made sure that they are developing the systems that would assure them
that their suppliers are producing food safety and the fda to work in the country to make sure that regime is up to speed and to be able to enforce some of their lives and the third-party certification, which is sort of limited and what is going to focus on sort of higher risk areas where the fda deems there is a need and i know i'm not giving you an exact answer to your question but all these systems have to walk together to create that assurance. >> i think we provided a partial answer that it is -- that there has to be a synchronization of that in the systems and from the china perspective that the match is end of their i could pick up
the point that paul has made in the u.s. context that has relevance with respect to your question in a broad issue of the impact of regulation in china is that the only compliance to the extent it's uniform and successful is in my estimation only at the largest company level where there's innovative operations and the documentation from the point of origin to the point of delivery is secure. so there is also to take an example in the sector in china there is a very intense and accelerated consolidation trend in china.
and certainly part of that is incentivized by the need to respond to the foreign market requirements but also by the regulatory requirements designed to match and spend and satisfy fisma in this case in the european case. so, but if you -- the minute you start to address the question at this level, certainly the small-scale level which by the way does enter the global supply chain because even the integrated food and feed the companies have to go outside of their own integrated operations to source the product because they are operating at 100% capacity.
so, it's a huge problem. in my estimation in the china context, there's no way that it's going to be solved overnight, and the infrastructure and the technologies required to achieve that level are not there. >> the further you get away from the source of the production the harder it is to understand and control all of the pieces of the supply chain and to think about the farmers that might be supplying the leafy greens to california or the u.s. to mexico or do they have the capacity to test the water every week if they are getting it from a source that surfaced that water. i don't think that capacity probably exists. you have multiple layers of problems that you need to develop the infrastructure for those problems to have guarantees that they are being adhered to. if you look at organic production there is a bit of a
model that the program has already developed standards where you can't use it in organic production. they have the standards in place. fisma has looked to sort of plant goes against the congress as well but there is an international standard and a body that oversees the implementation of the organic food internationally. they've developed uniform standards and protocols for inspections. is it foolproof? i'm sure it's not that it's probably closer than at the international body looking at the regulating of the smallest producers serving the large international market. >> with cornell foods we talked about collaboration and private efforts but what are your thoughts from each of the panelists with regards to the
fda collaborations in the states? we are looking to add 50 different states and rules. but is there an opportunity in your opinion for the collaboration with the state department of agriculture to the department of health in understanding the fda limited resources and particularly of limited resources being able to train people quickly enough to get an implementation to understand agriculture farming etc.. is there an opportunity here? >> they are going to be working with the states in terms of inspections and outreach and those sort of things, and they recognize that the workforce isn't big enough to conduct the inspections and they historically work with the sta state. so they are making sure that the state capacity and the states training and ability to conduct those types of inspections for
the fda is equal to what the inspectors would do so we want to make sure the states have the resources to do those inspections but also are doing them in the same level we would expect an inspector to do when he goes into a food plant. they will rely almost entirely on the states to work with farmers and to then conduct any kind of inspections work investigations. it simply doesn't have the capacity to be on the farm. they will be able to go on the pharmaceutical them or if they are investigating something, but they've pretty much said that they are leaving that up to the states and work with the states on that and. >> there is a structure in place we have the land grant colleges that have offices in almost every county in the country and those extension offices or give it a suicide us testified usinge farmers with information about their -- how to do best practice for a lot of things but i think that they could be involved in
the discussion on best practices thabut we have defunded a lot of the extension, the services are a fraction of what they used to be. and if you are asking for a relationship driven in an accountability change and if you are asking for those folks to be involved and they have something else to fund them, i would say that is a good place because a lot of those folks understand intimately the agricultural environment that they are working in and they are the working directly with farmers. >> we have a very, very good organization with the national association of state department of agriculture that if the fda isn't working with that entity, consider starting this afternoon. >> i'm with the american veterans association. and my question pg backs off of the last question of the state involvement of how are we planning on thinking fisma with county level regulations because
say you are a small agricultural producer you might need a permit and different levels of safety to sell in five different counties and that can make it economically impossible for you to attend farmers markets and a lot of that work is coordinated by the agricultural extension offices which are severely underfunded and understaffed right now. you have any further thoughts about the county level? policies and how the extension would be involved ex- >> what you are seeing the county offices become much more involved in this discussion of how do they support their regional agriculture? so they are looking at all of the mechanisms to create a prosperous agriculture because that is where their purview is. they are doing certification,
promotion, education, farmer and outreach as the best practices that might be doing watershed management work and a lot of the holistic thinking about how to make that integrated with what they are providing further farmers. that's not true across the country. you have a lot of offices that need some a shot in the arm they need people who are talking about this whole notion of there being proactive and creating a much healthier local system so that they are prospering and can make better choices in food safety. so i think that they are a critical piece to this. you know, that -- they've done some really interesting work in convening people around soil and i think the other place my talk was about how do we enliven soil so that it is incredibly viable to be the viable and that every
piece of that chain is a healthier outcome because soil is more vigorous and this complex biology of microorganisms and a billion are working in a healthy manner. it goes back to soil and that fundamental work i think could happen in the county offices. they are the places that farmers can begin to learn how they fundamentally change from a very singular focus on the nutrients to a biological focus on making soil a cornerstone to the processes. the national association from the state department is standing and he may ask a question it's
very clear that they understand their own limitations. there is no -- i've never had a conversation where they wish to have the 50,000 employees or doing this so they understand their own limitations. they need to and will be accessing existing systems. certainly the state inspection systems are part of that and they won't necessarily have to be part of this process. certainly in the last several years they have had intense conversations in the department of agriculture and how the department of agriculture can be part of this and that the education and training for the e department of difficult or has gap certification process. how was that a part of this? how were some of the public-private partnerships that i have mentioned part of the system, and so from that
perspective i am quite heartened because i think that the fda over the last several years as charlie has been ginned as they have gotten educated about thise same as they have gone from book learning to practical learning, they've gotten very good at understanding the systems and how to integrate the systems and, you know, certainly all of us on this panel are going to be part of the process to make sure that they are guided. but i have a fairly high degree of confidence that the fda will be integrating with some of the county extensions and usda systems in the state systems that are collaborative systems already in existence to try to execute what is a very completed process. congressman, thanks for the pl
plug. i will say the fda has done a lot of work so far and i would also say that they have a lot more impact before these rules will be implemented. we are in discussions with them that the implementation can happen any time soon. because you mentioned the gap i feel i just want to make one other statement. we are finding the requirements of the certification on the gap versus what is going to be required for fisma are yards apart. we are worried about the message it actually gets to the farmers because we have said if you are there you are partway there. i think anybody that knows and understands a is much further along, but the purpose of something to look at quality versus food safety are magnitudes apart and we have a long way to go in making that
happen. education, the amount of education, for the most part, the farm activities have never been regulated before. so now we are moving into doing that to make sure people understand where we are going into the value of having the farm assessments done we actually look at what is going on to be an extremely helpful thing to make sure that we get to that point. and some of the things almost all of the things we have been talking about i keep finding myself going back to the work funding. the fda has funding to get where they are now or at least through some parts of the implementation plan. there is not funding or a stream recognized how they are going to get from where they are today to something beyond this including working with the states and the question about the county's. they are pretty clear about the
need for the collaboration of the federal state and local food safety system. so there's a lot more effort that needs to happen at the county level. i don't think it is any secret that the budget will come out and about a month is going to propose the fees as a way of funding a good deal of the programs. they do that traditionally it is the way that the model they have is based on what they do so now we are expanding in the area of the food safety. i would like to hear how people view the right way. i don't think there is a right way that the right way to fund the activity to get from where we are today.
>> we have long said that they need additional funding not only to do the basic job is to implement fisma as well as of the other responsibilities. it's been a long-term problem to get the resources they need to do the job to protect the public health and to ensure that it has those resources. in the past several years the congress has providing the fda additional funding and there've been small increases but it's also been doing very tough budget times, so it's been hopeful and so the congress i think is recognized the importance and the need to continue funding and has recognized fisma. that needs to continue and we would like to see it grow. we would much rather see that the appropriate funding than to start turning to the user fees on the food side. however, we have been willing to think about that user fee if that is a way to bring in some sort of resources for the fda and get at the resources that it
needs. so we would rather see the appropriations and we are looking to have a conversation about the feed to see if that in get some sort of information. we don't think it needs to be defined in the same way and it shouldn't be designed in the same way on the drug and device side it should be more of a regulation food facility fee. but it's -- i would say the next five years we need to do a lot of hard thinking and try to figure out how we can get them the resources that we need. >> i teach a state at the university on monday nights we had a good discussion of this issue in this last monday and i want to give some opinions. as i tell my class i'm going to share with you my opinion based on 26 years of experience in the congress and the before and after. and they always ask, you know, do you gave p-papa tests?
though i don't. i'm going to give you opinions. how can i greet yo grade you dor opinion is different than mine when you may be right? do with that disclaimer, i want to make some observations and i would appreciate the reaction of the panel on any or all of them. i think the name of your farm was a very good educational operation for the panel today. when you have extra costs on those that propose the food, who is going to pay for it? the people. who can least afford the amount of paying for the additional cost? those on the very poorest end of the scale. so when we start talking about regulations that satisfy someone's opinion, rather than really dealing with the problem, we are not living in the right
direction. i put my budget hav budget hat i wouldn't be very supportive of giving the fda any more money or any other regulatory body until they demonstrate a better job of doing what they were supposed to be doing in the first place. my question to you is anyone on the panel of where anyone that doesn't believe these decisions should be made on the sound science consensus sound science? you can drive a mack truck through sound science can't you? how much science in this country is influenced by the questions asked and how the question is framed. >> and the opinion of the investigator. i think that if you define the very sound science as being open and looking at all of the issues that are not starting from the point of assumptions.
>> you know, chris, you mentioned the 126,000 hospitalizations. that is a pretty big number until you look at the over 1 billion that occur in the united states to get to 126,000 hospitalizations. are you aware of -- do we have a trendline is food safety going up? i mean hospitalization, foodborne illnesses going up in the united states and at what rate? >> we do not have the data to be able to look at the trends over time. they have been able to do estimates. so they have done a new estimate and that is where they do that, that they haven't been able to say year by year, the hospitalization or death number of hospitalization. >> said about to be a little bit comforting to all of the policymakers. if we really don't have that information, then how much credibility should we put in
someone's opinion. the hospitalizations out of a building in him is it possible that we would ever get to zero? i want to answer my own question. i am aware of people that have had and are having a tremendous amount of influence on the food safety questions that are not using the sound science. of those that oppose the biotechnology of those that oppose genetically modifying plants. they have opinions that they are welcome to. they may be right. but until there is some scientific evidence that they are right, why should we either by law or by a regulatory body and whose cost on our food industry without at least acknowledging that we are going to do tremendous damage to the hungry in the world packs i
oppose that as a question but in all of the discussions we have particularly bad that gets a lot of attention it is alleged that biotechnology is harmful for the human body without any evidence as of yet been put forth except by a few that have their opinion. i think we need to take that into consideration. user fees i render that argument from my days on the house agricultural committee and the meat and whole tree area. you have a little problem. if you are going to use the user fees you are immediately going to have criticism from all of the folks that are opposed to the way that we produce food today. the food factories as they are called. then you are going to have them paying for the food safety and criticism and it is just a round circle coming back. so these are the areas that we need to acknowledge in the
discussion. you said we need to have the best and safest food supply at the lowest cost of any of the people around the world. he and i made this statement many times and i've been challenged by some of our international friends periodically. they would say you have the safest and i said i have the best supply and safest at the lowest cost. there has to be a trade-off. >> 126,000 hospitalizations, that's not an opinion. the cbc has done scientific work and they've done the estimates. there is good science behind those numbers. >> what is the trend we had ten years ago? >> i don't know. i don't study those numbers.
but here's the thing. we have seen increased outbreaks linked to certain products and so that raises concerns. we have the produce industry recognizing that they were seeing a lot of outbreaks like the spinach and peppers and those sort of things and so they were actually supporting the food safety modernization act it wasn't just based on those. it was a recognized problem and this was the congress' attempt to recognize those. >> we look at this from the perspective of small and for us to be diverse farmers, black farmers, latino farmers out in fresno and also the farm workers. and i think it's been a really interesting discussion and really what the overall context of my question is is how do we know what is going to work? you know, where are -- where is the lack of safety coming from? we try to work with insurance companies to figure out if you
worked on farm worker health and safety and so forth, would you improve your insurance ratings by having safety on the foreign? small farmers we have been training them for a lot of years in the gaps. now they do need to have another system. but, you know, or the problems arising from the smaller forms, from the larger farms, what can we know from where the outbreaks are into the question has come out about the biodynamic farms and there is a history of wheree a lot of our producers are diverse fruit and vegetable growers. how do we figure out what's going to work and what systems really show the results? that is a good question and part of the answer at least from our perspective is that as the fda
is crafting the rules, for example for the produce, the notion of flexibility and that i talked about one size does not fit all, making sure that is in the rule and that there are not only -- that there are pathways whereby producers can identify different ways to accomplish food safety, i think that as chris talked about in his direct presentation, the american public at the moment is very focused in the safety of food that they fit the second concern to the public into that concern is reflected not only in the legislation but frankly it is reflected on every single retailer in america. to varying degrees they demand food safety being placed before the retailer is going to be
purchasing the product and entering the commerce streams. it is the wholesalers paul is using for some of his products that are going to demand that as well. understanding the food safety system and the fda establishing the standards and rules. but then also recognizing the diversity of the production systems, the diversity of the production climate, understanding the risk factors and then allowing the variability and alternatives in having the avenues to have alternatives and differences from that standard will. that is a big part of the answer to make this work across the diversity of the landscape that we have in the united states. >> i was hoping that is what i was trying to get to in my comments trying to think more
broadly be under 26,000 hospitalizations and the estimates of where those foodborne illnesses come from, 40% come from homes. you can argue whether that traces back to the farms or not, but the rest of them have been in the supply chain. in the transportation where you eat at your restaurant, 3% according to the cdc go back to the farm 3%. that's not a bad record. we have to know what target we are aiming at if you look at the agricultural systems to make them healthier you have to look pretty deep. what we are really looking for is movement towards healthy outcomes that are measurable. we are looking for trying to identify the risk factors and it's much for difficult when you have multiple sources coming from the international products
was it blueberries that were processed in turkey that came to the california organic producer that was put into a drink that made people sick it's an international issue in some ways but it's a very intimate local issue. charlie had mentioned that we cannot load more on the cost of food. i would argue that farmers are consistently hit with that argument and we cannot see more profits in agriculture and really it is if you have fair returns for farmers to have more time and resources to the vote. regulations gets dumped down to the bottom and they hit the hardest on the bottom. so i think that we should be arguing for fair wages, minimum wage so people actually have the resource to pay for food. we should be arguing for jobs that have some level of
permanence where you're not looking to be a part-time worker but rather to go back to encourage full-time employment for most people in the workforce. they are much more complicated issues and i think the food pricing often times is dumped on farmers and the cost of the regulations if they get dumped on farmers, the impact will be huge. we need to consider carefully what we are targeting. the healthy system that we are shooting for that we understand is much larger community. and that we actually need to pay attention to that because we don't want to create rules that run counter to that new emerging knowledge about how the systems work. >> that's the last word before i turn it over. if you would come forward now it is time to give the panel a hand.
[inaudible conversations] >> if you missed any of this program it is available on the c-span video library for viewing anytime. go to c-span.org. president obama will be heading to mexico today for north american the summer. he will be meeting with mexico's president and canada's prime minister to discuss immigration, energy and security. keeping with the trade focus of the trip the white house said while en route to mexico president obama will sign an executive order that would speed up paperwork required for international transactions. cnn is reporting the president will offer remarks sometimes the on the violent uprising in ukraine that is taken at least 23rd lives.
we will have his remarks as they become available. live coverage on c-span2 will continue at 12:30 p.m. eastern. deputy secretary state william burns will be there. is also served as ambassador to jordan and russia. live coverage from the center for strategic and international studies will get underway at 12:30 a.m. you to c-span will be live at one eastern as energy secretary talks but you as energy production and italy of the u.s. to export energy now. exports are currently restricted. and then c-span will be like that to eastern with a discussion of the presence cybersecurity plan for infrastructure security. national institutes of standards and technology director peter gallagher will explain the administration's framework. >> thursday night we will talk with two u.s. senators about their personal lives, careers and submission and facts about
earnings to send a heidi heitkamp tells us how her name went from mary catherine ate. >> i grew up in a very small catholic community, and when i was growing up, the two classes weather was first, second, third and fourth were all insane question. and at that time, a really small group of girls, there were a lot of mary's. maribeth, mary jo, and then a mary catherine but my parents never called me mary. my name was kathy, but my best friends name was kathy, and so she decided then in the third grade that she would remain me. she was a voracious reader and had already read hundreds of books i think by the time she was in the third grade and heidi was one of her favorite books. she gave me the name haiti and it stuck. >> later we'll talk with senator johnson on how his grandfather changed the family name.
>> when my grandfather and great uncle came over from norway in 1906, when they got to ellis island they didn't know english with exception i guess towards apple pie and coffee which they learned on the way over. but they were asked by the immigration officials to change the name because they thought it would be too difficult to spell and pronounce her people in this country and their name in norway was -- when i got to ellis island after the change, they picked the name of the farm they lived near norway which is called the thune for but my grandfather was nikolai. he became nick thune, and they got to ellis island and they had a sponsor in south dakota and he came out to work on the railroads. >> american profile interviews with senators heidi heitkamp and john thune thursday night starting at 9:30 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. >> the lead your team -- the
lead european trade negotiators are on track. this is about one hour. ready? ev are you already? good afternoon and welcome everyone. i'm jon huntsman, the new a chairman of the atlantic council. my maiden voyage, so cut me a at little slack today. i'm delighted to join the atlantic council at such anc interesting and exciting timeth for the transit like relationship. trans-atlantic economyor, in particular.puty so as a former governor come ambassador and deputy u.s. trade representative, not to mention a career in business i'm aware e an a company, state or relations
between sovereign nations. the transatlantic trade and investment partnership that the united states and european union are currently negotiating has the potential to become the largest trade and investment deal ever negotiated. covering fully 47% of global gdp. along with the united states' efforts to promote trade with many countries across asia and latin america, through the trans-pacific partnership, tpp, ttip represents the most ambitious american trade agenda in at least a generation, if not ever. moreover, trade liberalization represents one of the very few bipartisan goals and policy priorities that are left here in washington. for those of you who are interested in actually getting things done. despite the overwhelming economic benefits on the table here at the council, we like to think of ttip as far more than a
traditional free trade agreement. indeed, these negotiations mark a singular strategic opportunity to revitalize the transatlantic relationship broadly, providing a powerful economic counterpart to the greatest military and security alliance the world has ever known. by revitalizing the world's two largest economies, the e.u. and the united states, we can powerfully demonstrate to the world that a system based on strong protections of intellectual property, labor and environmental rights and the rule of law can still succeed and serve as a model for others to aspire to. ttip will go well beyond the classic approach of removing tariffs and opening markets on investment services and public proto curement -- procurement. its most ambitious goal aims at making e.u. and u.s. regulations and technical product standards more compatible.
whether through mutual recognition of each oh's rules and regulations or streamlining the regulatory policymaking process for few rules in the future. an ambitious ttip agreement could create over 740,000 jobs in the united states alone. .. in the coming days that analyzed the specific impact of ttip on key sectors that drive the u.s. economy from communications to motor vehicles to manufacturing. show that ttip has the potential to dramatically boost american exports across all sectors. this is vitally important as jobs tied to exports 10 to pay more our highly skilled and
sought after and drive international competitiveness. clearly an ambitious ttip is a project well worth fighting fore even though many traditional trans-atlanticne disagreements,y like genetically modified foods, or differences in data r protection policies are both well known and well entrenched. a protection these are well-known and well entrenched. it is my sincere hope that we will see more advocacy efforts from the obama administration. leaders on capitol hill and influential voices from berlin, paris, london, and the rest of europe coming out strongly in favor of this agreement. but the united states and europe have a lot to gain here. on that note, i am delighted and honored that we are joined this afternoon by the leading players in the eu when it comes to ttip. european commissioner.
carl has come to the council directly following a series of meetings with the u.s. trade representative where they have discussed the current state and the united nations and planned out where the two sides are headed from here. ambassador bob kimmitt, a friend of 20 years is also here and will be moderating our conversation. bob is a very influential member of the atlantic council board of directors who has done great work on trade and investment policy and we thank you for joining us today. let me just note that our event here today is on the record and it is also being live streamed online. carl was appointed as the european commissioner for trade in 2010 during his political career he had served as a member of the european parliament and the belgian parliament and
international trade and foreign affairs. among many other distinguished post. in 2009 he became the european commissioner for development and humanitarian aid. this is an important nowversation and thefloor [applause] >> good afternoon, governor huntsman, ambassador kimmitt, ladies and gentlemen. i've been here these last few days to take stock, with ambassador froman, of our negotiations were transatlantic trade and investment partnership, or ttip, or tiki ip as we call it in your. either way, it is good to see we
are already achieving convergence as people stumble over the acronym on both sides of the atlantic. however you want to say it, we have been in negotiations now for about eight months and it was time to see how far we have come. i'm happy to say that mike and i agree things are on track. our negotiating teams have taken a close look at all issues on the table. they have identified areas of common ground and is marked out the areas that need more work, and there are some. certainly the marked out errors are still larger than the common ground, but we now have a clear picture of the whole field. the consequenconsequen ce is that the next phase is going to be harder. this is where real negotiations begin. if we want to finish on the now proverbial single tank of gas,
our message to our negotiators is that we need to step up a gear. unless of course the price of gas is going to go even lower. i would like to use my remarks today to go through what that will mean in practice. for those to remember why the work is necessary. the european union and united states have a shared goal for this deal. to clear new paths for small, medium and large companies to do business in ways that create jobs and growth, fully respect people's rights as workers and consumers, and protect health, safety and the environment. to meet that goal efficiently and effectively we have divided the negotiations into three different areas. we have work to do on all of them. the first area is market access, goods, services and public procurement. and this week we exchange our
first tariff offers. our average tariff levels may be low, but we need to keep our ambitions high. that means tackling the high tears but to remain. enemies making sure that we move -- remove duties quickly so that our economies start feeling the benefits as soon as possible. on services we're still preparing our efforts by am confident we will be able to exchange them soon. we both know the huge potential for greater services trade and the importance of high quality services to the rest of the economy. that's why we both have high ambitions for new markets opening and for commitments to keep services markets open as they are today. we also need to make steady progress on public procurement. opening markets here offers significant economic gains and
greater government efficiency. our objective should be to remove discrimination between european and american firms in either of our markets. and all three aspects of the market access negation or equally important. it is essential we move forward on all of them in parallel in order to keep a good overall balance. the secondary of the talks we need to work on in the coming months is what we in the trade world called rules. i'm thinking of the vital work we're doing on trade facilitation, which will take their eu, u.s. custom systems even don't we just agreed at the world trade organizations bali ministerial. we know that specifically smaller companies find a complex system of fees, charges and security restrictions a space to difficult to navigate. i'm also thinking of a hugely important disciplines we are
establishing a state-owned enterprises. setting a high standard is crucial for our efforts to encourage other trade partners to play by the same rules as we do in terms of government support for business. the same goes for rules on raw materials and energy. we are best served if markets are regulated in a transparent manner and there are no restrictions on trade in raw materials and energy. restricting exports is classic beggar thy neighbor politics that undermines the common good and has no place in trans-atlantic trade. and i'm thing of the crucial issues of labor and the environment. we need to make absolutely sure that trans-atlantic trade and investment support rather than undermines our high standards on these sustainable and development issues. we will not sacrifice them for commercial gain.
on the contrary, this agreement offers the potential to go beyond what we have been able to include in previous trade agreements on these issues. the final area we need now to work on is certainly the most difficult. but also the most important, reducing regulatory differences to facilitate trade. it's difficult technically and difficult politically. the technical difficulties are obvious. in what we might call the good old days, trade negotiators only had to work with tariffs and quotas. those are fairly simple tools to understand, as are the ethics of changing them. however, if as trade negotiators would want to do with regulatory issues, our discussion suddenly becomes broader and much more complex. brought it because it's obvious,
regulators, not trade negotiators, are in charge of regulations. so we will get nowhere without their full indication in our work. more complex because if you want to make treaties your without undermining the objectives of the regulation, then we need to come to grips with all areas, all new areas of policy. we must understand and respect the purpose of the laws and rules we are dealing with, to protect human health, the environment, and financial stability. we must come to terms with the entire new fields of expertise, biology, chemistry, even psychology, though negotiators already know a thing or two about that. and we must master the legal mechanisms that put regulatory goals into practice, standards, inspections, conformity assessment. as to the politics, old the
european union and the united states strive to remove all politics from regulation. for good reason, concepts like independence and impartially on the realtor process are at the core of how our systems are designed. but despite this fact, in neither system have we been able to eliminate politics entirely. when it comes to basic regulatory choices, politics is necessarily involve. your laws are decided by congress. hours by our legislature, the council of eu member states and the european parliament, on the basis of a camera system, on the basis of the commission proposal. moreover, even when regulars have full delegated powers and we know that everyday they are forced to make judgment calls based on the information available, even when it is imperfect.
uncertainty is a fact of life, which is why the precautionary principle plays a role in both of our systems and is enshrined in the wto. and alongside all of these decision-making processes, we know that the public debate between interest groups of all stripes is every bit as political, every bit as passionate, as any electoral campaign, regardless whether it refers to primary law or executive action. that complex world is the context where ttip takes place. and as a result in your families can we've already seen the that people have very serious concerns about what ttip might mean for regulation. what it means is that our shared objective, to lower barriers to trade and investment enough to have a real world impact while keeping the levels of records or protection that our citizens have chosen is going to be
challenge. and let me be clear, it is certainly possible. 30 years ago, the european union went much further than we will go with ttip. we were able to demonstrate the people that it was possible to adapt our rules and reach common standards while still maintaining the highest levels of regulatory protection. but it will require hard work from trade negotiators and from regulatory authorities in the coming weeks and in the coming months. that means looking at both horizontal rules about how we make regulation and solutions to current sector specific problems with equal care. if we want a result that makes a difference, we need to look at the way we produce regulation. and we make the processes more transparent so that we can give useful feedback at the early stages of the regulatory process? can we encourage the regulators to deepen their relationships so
that they brainstorm solutions to new challenges together? at the same time if we want to be credible we need to find a critical mass of regulatory solutions for specific sectors. if, just to give some examples, we can make our car safety standards fit together better. if we can get rid of double inspections at our pharmaceutical or medical devices plants, if we can make sure that we implement agreed international rules on finance and a compatible way, if we can simple by the procedures for approving food products and avoid duplication of inspections in areas where our product safety rules are equivalent, then ttip will have a positive impact on our economies straight away. buckling down to take all of these areas forward, market access, rules and regulatory barriers, will require effort. so we had better know why we're doing it.
the answer for me is very clear, growth and jobs on the one hand, and strategic vision on the other. the growth and jobs arguments are clear. open markets boost demand because exporters gain access to new customers. that goes for smaller companies even more than for large ones because they don't always have the resources to find clever ways around barriers. open markets also worked on the supply side of the economy by lowering prices of final goods for consumers and other indie media good for companies, again small and large. probably the over all level of competition makes the economy more productive overall. when you apply those effects to the largest trade and investment relationship in the world you can expect significant results. our own estimates expects our economies to expand i more than
200 billion, or just less than $300 billion on the time the agreement is in effect. in a ton of gradual recovery, both europe and america need to seize opportunities like this. on top of that pay off we also need to remember the strategic reasons for getting down to the serious work of ttip. and this is why both the regulatory and the rules part of this agreement are so important. at the most basic level, ttip provides a laboratory for future global disciplines. last year's bally agreement has brought new momentum back to the wto. ambassador froman and i were working with their counterparts in geneva and director general to use that momentum to make progress on the rest of the doha mandate. but even if we managed to meet all of the goals, caps in a
multi--- multilateral rulebook will remain. converges between eu and just positions on how to fill those gaps is necessary even if sufficient steps to its global rule-making. the role of ttip is therefore to find the solutions that can later be applied more widely. especially as they have already operating in 40% of the world's economy. looking further ahead, one thing about the 21st century is certain. it will be a multi-poor century, neither american nor european. the european union and the united states will still be important players but will have less weight than in the past. by 2050, our share of world output could drop by as much as half. that's a natural consequence of the spread of prosperity to other parts of the world, and as such it is certainly to be welcomed. it will, however, have an impact
on the rules-based international system that europe and america championed together over the last 60 years. that system needs to adapt to a comedy the new rising players, as the wto shoulders and bali, it is possible. by europe, america and the world as a whole also have a very strong interest that the system continues to be based on principles not only of economic openness but also of high standards for health, environment, labor and consumer protection. on these issues the truth is that the eu and u.s. share much more than where we differ. ttip, by bringing us even closer, strengthens the position of our shared values on the global stage. ladies and gentlemen, governor, ambassador, these negotiations will be a challenge but as you see there are strong reasons for
us making the effort to surmount it. doing so will require a serious commitment. i know that despite a heavy political counted this year, europe is ready to make that commitment. i have every confidence that the u.s. will join us. on presidents' day, there are many great leaders that americans can look back to for inspiration in this effort. but perhaps kennedy is the most relevant. in 1962 he needed to rally support for the first round of multilateral trade talks involving the embryonic european union, around that would ultimately be named for his memory. it is time we recognized, he said, that trade is no longer a matter of local economic interest but of high national policy. striking a bargain with the common market will strike a blow for freedom. that is the possibility we again
have before us, and i'm looking forward to see us working together to achieve it. thank you very much for your attention. [applause] or your time and attention. thank you. mark. [applause] >> thank you very much for those comprehensive remarks and what a great readout of the negotiations and the long-term goals. you are describing your official responsibilities and i know that you also keep a close eye on politics on both sides of the atlantic and a lot of talk recently about politics in the u.s. with statements over the past several weeks by president obama and majority leader harry reid, vice president biden.
and of course, our midterm elections coming up in november. six months before that he will have important elections before that and the european parliament at least looking at it that we will be very strong in the elements of this new parliament that is skeptical about the european union and perhaps had some skepticism about trade. and we would like to get your views on how politics will play out in the near term in europe area. >> okay, first, [inaudible] okay. so first on trade, at present the european parliament is not skeptical on trade and we have a lot of questions on sustainable development, environmental
issues, health and safety and the rights. but generally speaking we are not -- we are not against trade because without major problems, we have managed to get the trading in korea adopted and the one with colombia and central america and the ukraine for obvious reasons. we can very easily pass this. so the idea that there would be skepticism, i think that that is not true and i'm pretty sure that if we were to reach a deal, it would be very widely debated because it would be a big deal and there's more interest on the business than any other because
the idea is to a certain extent merge the two markets so they both have growth experience. and i'm pretty sure that it would make no major problems. the developments in europe, one of the lessons i have learned after 35 years of politics is that whenever you have an outcome of elections and it's different than what you had expected and sometimes very different. and it could be that we have this with the european parliament.
but you can expect to have skeptics and if that were to be the case, it could change the relationships between the that institutions. the european parliament is now work more or less like the american congress and then you have a legislative proposal that can be across the board and to have all kinds of specific coalitions on this, which is a little bit different than the democratic system that i have made in the european union.
and so that could change because we have skeptic members of that will have to manage this with 50% off of this. and so what i expect to happen is that you will have a closer relationship and more political relationship between the european commission and parliament. and thereby he would move in the direction of having a majority based commission and this is presently not the case and that i think would change. and i'm not sure, but you would move more in the direction of a real governmental problem which you can then execute and from time to time we will have to
adopt it. but it would have no effect on the ability of the relationship between institutions. so whether ttip, order ttip, for one thing it is different about this disagreement, it is the explicit terms of the investment and that's not really surprising on the u.s. side because there continues to be a political debate around trade. and we seem to have coalesced about the benefits of the foreign direct investment in the u.s. we have 5.5 million americans who work for companies headquartered overseas and that's roughly 5% that they account for it, but they account for 20% of our exports. the jobs pay on average 25% higher. 40% of the jobs are in manufacturing. 50% of the overall economy.
12.5% are unionized versus 8.5% of the overall economy. so the investment side is something that i think is very much animating the u.s. political debate in europe. i saw over the weekend the president hosted the top 35 business people encouraging more direct investment and that looked really good. and i have also seen some hesitation with a dispute settlement mechanism and wondered if that is a concern in particular and how americans see the direct investment? >> well, i don't think so. and i would say that we would recognize as earlier than what we have done in the united states and we have to combine
them if we want to have the globalization for the economy. until we have a difference of opinion and in the left it puts us into doubt. it's something that is generally speaking that it there is a understanding that you cannot have this without a parallel of investment and that is because you have so many investment with companies in the united states and vice versa that trade is worldwide and that is proven by all of the studies that have been done about it. and yes, it is different.
the political environment has changed for the simple reason that recently i had two cases. the case by phillip morris against australia for the packaging of cigarettes in the one against germany on the nuclear sector. so what is at stake is the path that was not so clear and that's the real question. to what extent does this mean that it limits policy? we have been negotiating with canada. and that was precisely to make sure that the ideas do not limit
policies. it's less clear in the existing agreement trade because only think of the little agreements. but there's no condition of that. and now we have seen we have put this into question and it's very important to be much open to the sides are not. and if we don't do that, the existing investment protection agreements of which we have yet to start will remain in force. member states of the european union in the past have included about 1400 investment protection agreements. and by the look of them you have that style with the u.s. provision. and i think that we are all on the same page. and all of a sudden we have a
discussion about and that is why i have decided to relaunch this, hoping that it will shed more light on what the real goal of all of this is. it is a supplementary element and a number of european member states do not have agreements with the city members. of course, the united states as well. but they have half of these provisions for the united states. and how you bring up together? that is the real challenge and it is about preserving a policy and more transparency and the possibility that you do not agree as a result and so to modernize the whole process. and i hope that we can do this. because what we need to know is
that in all the cases it is the country that has launched a procedure. so the idea is something that is directed by the united states against us in the completely wrong. you know? to 2% of the cases are launched by the european countries. it means that they are convinced that we need it. you know? >> thank you. last question on the floor. on the basket of issues that are being addressed. you mentioned briefly financial services in the atlantic council has done a lot of work in the area trying to encourage convergence on financial
services and regulatory standards and the effort is also underway in the g20 and elsewhere. finance ministries included u.s. banks that are somewhat restrained in their enthusiasm of putting the regulatory issues into trade negotiations bilateral, but especially multilateral. could you give us a sense of where the financial services chance today in the negotiating process when a. >> there are differences of opinion. but the european side is adamant that will be part of this and that the result is then merged into this and that is something that i don't mind.
let me give you two examples. there's a lot of regulations that have been changed and influenced by recent decisions by the g8 in the country and the committee. but we have to make sure that when these decisions of principle have a regulation that is compatible, but this will not happen overnight. and recently there has been made an agreement between the u.n. and the u.s. and then we see we tried to put it into practice and nec discrepancies. so i could give you more examples, it means that you really have to go and do this work of making it compatible. not letting or surfacing
differences that have no special political polls. and that is what we should try to avoid. so this is definitely part of the regulatory package. whether we do it now or not, i don't mind. but the results should also be in financial services. we have much more regulatory convergence and it's not market exercise. there is no real problem in market access for financial services. so once you put it into access, you say okay, no promise with respect to the markets in the regulations. >> thank you, commissioner. we have about 20 minutes before the commissioner has to leave for the airport. i would like to ask their
questions be quick and your comments quicker. we will have a microphone brought to you. if you would please identify yourself and your affiliation, that would be a big help. >> yes, sir? right >> [inaudible] >> it matters for the people in the back, thank you. you. >> bernard gordon, university of new hampshire. normally i work on ttip issues. so in a sense i am here under false play. at the age of want to with you and many of us know this yesterday senator durbin also came out against the trade promotion authority. my basic question is this. the ttip has raised enormous public debate on every kind of issue, on pharmaceutical issues, internet issues, every other kind of issue. so far the ttip has not generated that kind of opposition.
is there a reason why it seems so much more smoother for ttip than the ttip has so far experienced? >> i'll try to keep it like that, no? [laughter] it's a different type of negotiation. i know more about ttip than they do about ttip because of not negotiating ttip. it's different because you have 11 or so partners, 12 partners, and there are differences in terms of economic development, and we also have experienced this kind of regional approach is not easy. we have tried to do it, ambassador -- remember with respect, we have tried to do so, and it didn't work out because they make any of the their huge differences in economic development and also cultural
diversity, which is relevant. so to catch all of this in one agreement it's more difficult, has an impact also on the level of ambition. let me be very clear. i hope that you can conclude as soon as possible a good agreement with ttip. i'm very much in favor of it. because it would be part of the puzzle we also tried to make with ttip, and, of course, we also discussing directly with japan comforts of the. i'm very much in favor of that. i really wish you can do it as soon as possible, because the sooner you can do it, i think the sooner we can get to the in game of ttip also.
>> thank you. mr. commissioner -- >> could you identify yourself and your affiliation? [inaudible] >> thank you. >> mr. commissioner, do you think that the country to some level should be included in the negotiations for ttip? >> which countries? [inaudible] spent candidate countries. >> oh, candidate countries. we have a policy on that. we keep them informed that they are not a part of the negotiation, simple reason that also the member states by the way or not a driving part of the negotiating state in european union that is negotiating and the executive branch of the european union, european commissioners is doing this negotiation, they're performing these negotiations on the basis of a mandate that we get from
the council of ministers. we did not invite candidate countries to the negotiating table. we couldn't do that. there is a possible impact, of course this is countries become members of the european union and there's also possibility of countries with, whom we have, for example, customs union. for example, we have at least a partial customs that can impact them so yes, we keep them informed. and as soon as the end of next week i'm going to istanbul to discuss these with the government. >> margery with the u.s. chamber of commerce. commissioner, thank you fo for being you. a very simple question. how do you perceive the
engagement of european business community in the course of the negotiations currently? >> i would like to see them more engaged, you know. right now i hear voices about ttip in europe. they tend to be the negative ones. i think it's not only business. the agreement is not only in the interest of business. it's in the interest of economies come in the interest of growth and jobs. those who are in favor of ttip should come out much more loudly and clearly. if they want us to succeed. and i accept that tradition in your. i hope you also accept it for the united states.
>> thanks. you mentioned the pot you call for a over the negotiations over investors take provisions, given the concerns about the threats that could be posed by empowering more corporations directly challenge health and environmental laws. many of us as civil society and even some eu governments have expressed concerns and called for a similar pause over regular convergence, negotiations. getting perceived as a threat to health and if i'm at a loss. those came out of the proposal causing much of the same concern, causing much of the same concern just to name one example entry or from either with concern about eu approval of chicken that was greater with chlorine, or treated pork or
beef. given its widespread controversy over the regulatory convergence proposal, d.c. cause for calling for a parallel pause in the repertory area? >> this is not the first time i hear this question. [laughter] and i'm always answering the same period probably you're already aware what i'm going to answer. we are not going to change our legislation, ma and i expect the same to happen in the u.s. because of these negotiations. to be very clear, for example, we are not going to import -- because it would mean that we have to change our basic legislation. because it will mean that we have to change our basic legislation and we're not going to do it. we're not even going to make legislative proposal for that because it has no support in parliament and has no support in
the 20. so we will keep and speak to our regulations and institutions, within the framework of those regulations that, for example, we will expand trade. know, because -- summit if we come to an agreement, of course probably the united states will probably export more beef with the european union. that will have to be preview. what will happen is happening for example, not intended to and the result of the agreement with candidate that they put in place almost -- [inaudible] just as simple as that. >> strange that i get this question all the time, you know? [laughter] am i so unclear about it? [laughter] >> thank you, commissioner. doug nelson.
quick question, you spelled out very clearly the three general categories of things that need to be negotiated in this trade agreement. does your mandate permits you to just focus on crops, one or two of those, and leave in particular the most difficult one regulatory coherence or convergence for another day? >> i just explained and we negotiated on the basis of a mandate to get from the council of ministers, and that's very broad mandate. and so theoretically we could do this, yes. but we are not going to do it because company, it's not on our mind. what we want to do is our growth agreement on all aspects. and serving on the regulatory ones. which i personally consider
forward-looking the most important one. so it's a no starter. either we make agreement or we don't make it. for example, the idea that you would have an agreement on tariffs only, no. because it would make sense. it would never pass the european parliament. so that's out of the question. but theoretically we could, but politics is not about theory. it's about practice. >> right here also in the center aisle, please. thank you. >> and i'm coming to the back of the room next. i have seen your hand. thank you. >> the eu has enshrined in its laws and regulations the
precautionary principle that managers risk. on the u.s. side we don't have the risk assessment which is the rough counterpart but it's part of our business culture. if the precautionary principle and the risk assessment were somehow managed or included in the negotiations, along which waste you see a compromise? and how can these two different philosophies be reconciled over the agreement? >> as you rightly say, you also have something that hints in the direction but it's much more clear in the european legislation. and the importance of the precautionary principle is higher in the european union -- european legislation and regulations than in american regulations. also has to do with culture.
there are less risk averse. we are more risk-averse. and in this culture we are probably not going to change that overnight. so i'm not very much interested in having a very long conversation on the exact meaning of the precaution principle and the transit like relations because that would lead us nowhere. so of course it will be on the back of our minds when we discussed about the regulatory approach, and it will be difficult to go at this moment in time into the technical stuff that. it takes a lot of time, but i think we have to do is make a combination of mutual recognition, more compatibility, common approaches with respect, for example, the risk assessme
assessment. forward-looking cooperation on regulation so that you try to avoid differences of opinion and practice from the start which is always more difficult to remedy them, and to avoid them. but it is a complicated thing, you know? i have to tell you, i mean, i've been reading about this, and sometimes it gives me headaches. but on the other hand, i believe this is the most important part of the agreement. and i'm also confident that we will be able to make very important progress with respect to this. maybe not on all sectors, that's possible. maybe not on all sectors in the first few years, but we are so much concentrated on this that i think we are confident we have to do this.
we have to meet that challenge, and we will find our way out, without having -- but we will do it. >> thank you. ben hancock from inside u.s. trade. you emphasize in your speech the importance of balance in these negotiations across all tracks. you indicate in some earlier comments that you're under the impression that the ambition of the u.s. market access offer did not match the level of ambition of the eu offer. can you offer some details about where the u.s. is falling short in this regard? and how important is it to b. or c. reciprocity in the market access element in order to advance parallel negotiations in the regulatory aspect of the talks? thank you.
>> the answer could be very short. i'm not going to get any details of that. if i have to go on a longer answer, we will make sure that we arrived together in the end station with the same level of ambition, and that's i think what should be the goal. >> one last question. >> back on to the question of regulatory harmonization, however you want to describe it, clearly there are certain sectors, certain industries which are further advanced, if you will, in terms of convergence because of the cross investment and trade over the many years. .. is it conceivable that within
that arena that we will see more disparity in terms of convergence sector by your, like in autos, it could be more advanced than others. this is my experience when i worked on the transatlantic regulatory business dialogue, the regulatory standards by sector and we could harvest on this much quicker than others. can you give us your views on a map. >> we have a number of sectors that have agreed to this on what they think is needed in the specific center. and that